Pupils without lollypop person since term start

The school in Billinge
The school in Billinge

YOUNG pupils from a Wigan primary have been without a school crossing patrol officer since the start of the term.

Youngsters from Highfield St Matthew’s Primary haven’t had the assistance of a lollypop person for almost four months since starting this academic term.

This is despite authorities promising parents earlier this year that despite cuts, the position of school crossing patrol officer will be protected throughout the borough.

However the council insist that one will be employed to help the children as soon as possible.

Paul Barton, interim assistant director for operational services at Wigan Council, said: “Unfortunately the school crossing patrol has not been in place since September 11.

“The school were informed at the time and were advised to inform parents to use the pelican crossing outside of the school.

“We hope to have a crossing patrol back in place as soon as possible.”

At the beginning of the year, Wigan Council decided that its budget for 2015-16 will protect the jobs of school crossing patrol officer as part of The Deal.

This is despite other local authorities cutting patrols and the Council having to make £12m savings for the coming financial year.

Parents of St Matthew’s have since spoken out to call for a new patrol officer to take up the role.

One, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I understand if there has been nobody to replace the last person we had but it’s just worrying as our children are crossing there each day without somebody there to assist them.

“I think urgent action needs to be taken to get a replacement before something terrible happens. I dread to think if a collision occurred as a result.”

The Wigan Evening Post approached Highfield St Matthew’s, however a spokesperson refused to comment on the situation.